For Japan; a net of poems

gassho-zuchuri house, Shirakawa-go








I have strong connections with Japan and Japanese culture. I’ve visited the country, I have Japanese friends, and I’ve written in a wide variety of  Japanese forms. I live near the Torness nuclear power station, well within what would be an exclusion zone in the event of an accident there.

Having led many renga events in the past, I thought it would be worthwhile to try to construct on online net of poems reflecting people’s feelings about the triple disaster which has affected Japan. Readers are asked to send me short poems by way of comments, and I’ll put them together. While the renga form alternates two- and three-line verses, I don’t want to follow that rigorously, but please restrict yourselves to short verses.

black wave surges in
pushes over houses, cars
sucks lives out to sea


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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12 Responses to For Japan; a net of poems

  1. Rita Bradd says:

    Madame Butterfly
    crumples her wings, weeps nectar
    for her faded flowers

  2. Vivien Jones says:

    ‘devastated’ we say when small passion
    or disappointment stings, what shall we say

    of you, whose house,village, town is gone,
    your dark eyes drinking in devastation
    with such restraint, such rubbing away of tears.

  3. sunnydunny says:

    From Andy Jackson


    We are balancing
    on rocks that peak like needles,
    living off the scale


    Hands that make our maps
    trace the shorelines, rub them out,
    breathe, and start again


    Sun is sending rays
    beams that tell us all is well,
    fission we can trust

  4. sunnydunny says:

    From Sally Evans

    twitter — sorting out
    the lies and scams
    from what we wish was not true

  5. chris says:

    Calm pastel beauty
    of the long wave
    turns to black power

    driving strongly through
    all that man has made

    unleashing the black power
    that water fails to cool
    but burns all instead

  6. jamesmegaw says:

    There was a boy held
    In the curve of the hills.
    I could just make out
    The lines on his hands,
    Driven by the
    Return of the water.

  7. As the flowering of winter dawn
    Awakens in nuclear smoke
    A man holds another.

  8. Jane Dobson says:

    Towns and people lost as fast
    As snow melts into sea.

  9. sunnydunny says:

    From Alec Finlay

    fires are still burning


    a boat
    where no boat
    should be

  10. Elspeth Murray says:

    How do we sleep?
    Where do we keep things now?


    The sound of a fountain,
    Blossom petals falling.
    Instead, the diggers.

    Thank you, Colin, for initiating this. May creativity follow destruction.

    E xoxo

  11. anna dickie says:

    tatami mats
    in a gynmasium
    a town

    This is lovely Colin. Enjoy the time with your M<um, I'm sure it is precious. One of the most touching sights of Japan is seeing sons and daughters trying to care for their frail parents.

  12. BarbaraS says:

    wrecked wood heaps
    people scrabble, search
    for words to convey lost lives

    I agree with Anna’s comments about your Mum and the through behind this too.

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